Tuesday, December 14, 2004

no-wave christmas pt 4: James White

To catch up on what exactly is going on, read this post first. A summary: Ze Records, 1981, no-wave and mutant disco, christmas.

The fourth track on the holiday compilation was from the James White aka James Chance aka James White and the Blacks aka James White and the Contortions. Here is the James Chance website. Visit the amazing New York No Wave Photo Archive.

Born Siegfried in Milwaukee, USA. James moved to New York where he initially took the name James Chance, this Ornette Colman influenced experimental saxophonist forged the uncompromising Teenage Jesus And The Jerks with Lydia Lunch in 1976. The following year he left to form the Contortions, who debuted in 1978 on the album No New York, produced by Brian Eno, which chronicled the city's seminal no wave movement, an experimental fusion of punk with free jazz. In 1979 Chance with the Pill Factory issued the maxi single EP, Theme From Grutzi Elvis, the original soundtrack of Diego Cortez's movie 'Gruty Elvis', prior to changing his name and founding a new act, James White And The Blacks. The members of his previous group, Pat Place (guitar), Jody Harris (guitar), George Scott III (bass) and Don Christensen (drums), Adele Bertei (organ), accompanied the saxophonist on his funk/disco project long-playing debut Off White. The same year he also record for Ze records with his band the Contortions the album BUY. These two albums are considered to be James' best work. James' two combos the Contortions or the Blacks where the most important and influencial bands from the New York's short-lived No Wave movement, playing a noisy, clattering avant-funk that drew from punk and free jazz. In 1983 James completed a third album for ZE records : James White's Demonics.

Aside from a few live recordings, the original Contortions lineup didn't release much more material. Although James continued to lead versions of the Contortions through the early '80s, the original lineup split up in 1980. Place went on to join the acclaimed Bush Tetras, while Harris, Scott, and Christensen formed the Raybeats.

4. James White - Christmas with Satan

Buy James Chance stuff


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